Berlin - Pep Guardiola starts his swansong as Bayern Munich
coach on Friday at Hamburg with his team running away with an historic fourth
Bundesliga crown and eyeing a hat-trick of titles.
Having said he wants to coach in England next season,
Guardiola's three-year tenure will ultimately be measured in Munich by whether
he can repeat his predecessor Jupp Heynckes' feat of winning the treble of
Champions League, German Cup and Bundesliga titles in 2013.
Bayern have won the German league title for the last three
seasons and are bidding to become the first team to win four straight
They have also reached the quarter-finals of the German Cup,
but the Champions League will be the acid test having been knocked out at the
semi-final stage of Europe for the last two years running under Guardiola.
Bayern return from the Bundesliga's winter break eight
points clear in the table, but Guardiola knows his reign will be judged by
whether or not his side reach the Champions League final on May 28 in Milan.
"I know people want us to win the Champions League and
if we don't manage it, we will have failed," Guardiola has said.
Bayern kick off the second half of the season against
mid-table Hamburg, who are waiting on the fitness of striker Pierre-Michel
Lasogga, who has a shoulder injury, and captain Johan Djourou (knee).
Hamburg last beat Bayern back in September 2009 and Bruno
Labbadia's team were winless in their last three league games of 2015.
Also read: Guardiola wants to coach in Premier League after Bayern
Despite winning their last two previous meetings 5-0 and 8-0
in Munich, Bayern have struggled to leave Hamburg with three points of late and
in their last five games at the Volksparkstadion they have only won twice.
With second-placed Borussia Dortmund facing a tough trip to
Moenchengladbach on Saturday night, Bayern want to extend their lead and are at
- 'Hamburg will fight' -
"We have to give it everything right until the end (of
the season), regardless of how many points clear we are," said striker
Robert Lewandowski who has scored 16 goals in 15 league games so far.
"Right now the gap is eight points, but we're not
"Everything can change.
"We'll be fighting with Borussia Dortmund up until the
final game. That's good for us, too.
"This year we want to win the Bundesliga and the
Champions League with Guardiola, but Hamburg will fight and want to show their
fans how good they are and we must be patient."
Hamburg can take some hope after Bayern lost 2-1 at
second-division Karlsruhe on Saturday in a friendly after centre-back Jerome
Boateng was sent off in the second half.
"We're just about to re-start the Bundesliga and we're
not ready," admitted the Germany defender.
Dortmund face a tough task at resurgent Gladbach, who are
looking to avenge their 4-0 thrashing by Thomas Tuchel's side at the start of
Under new coach Andre Schubert, Monchengladbach are unbeaten
in their last seven league games at home, including their 3-1 drubbing of
Bayern last month -- Munich's only defeat of the season in Germany's top
"We're ready and determined to win the game," said
Gladbach's Guinea winger Ibrahima Traore.
"We know about the quality of Dortmund, but we are
playing at Borussia Park and want to show that we deserve to be up the
After one of the best season's so far in the club's history,
third-placed Hertha Berlin host mid-table Augsburg with Pal Dardai's side
having so far amassed 32 points -- only three less than they achieved for the
whole of last season.For
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